Published: Fri, September 29, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Couple from Great Britain were victims of Yosemite rock fall

Couple from Great Britain were victims of Yosemite rock fall

An enormous rock fall on Yosemite National Park's famed El Capitan granite wall has killed one person and injured another.

The rocks appeared to have fallen from an area near the popular "Waterfall Route" climbing trail during an active time for hiking in the popular national park.

They were not identified as park rangers needed to speak with the Consulate from Great Britan to notify family members first, Yosemite officials said in a news release.

A total of 1,300 tons fell from 1,800 feet above the Yosemite Valley floor. The man was found dead at the scene, and the woman was airlifted out of the park with serious injuries.

Mountaineers from around the world travel to the park in the Sierra Nevada to scale El Capitan's sheer face.

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The names of the victims are still unknown, as well as whether they were climbers or tourists visiting the park.

Yosemite National Park officials said the fatal rock fall occurred near where Horsetail Fall flows.

The rocks fell over a four-hour time span, with the initial rockfall happening about 2 p.m.

John DeGrazio of YExplore Yosemite Adventures said Thursday he had just reached the summit of Half Dome with a group of hikers when they saw large plumes of dust rising up the vertical wall of El Capitan. He said no further details were immediately available. The park itself remains open and other visitor services are not affected.

Longtime Yosemite climber Peter Zabrok (ZAY'-brok) says he's never seen anything like the chunk of rock that broke off. Zabrok said it was as big as an apartment building.

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